Letterbox by P.A.Davies

Letterbox - P.A. Davies - Book Blog Tour Poster

I am so very excited to be the first stop on the blog tour for Letterbox by P.A.Davies.

Letterbox - P.A. Davies - Book Cover

EXCERPT: For the first time since being in the room, the dark figure leant into the light revealing a large, bulldog looking face sat upon a thick neck. His nose looked like it had been broken several times, no doubt the result from years of street fighting and a three inch scar ran up his left cheek, the legacy of an inaccurate gunman. His dark piercing eyes shone in the bright glow and remained unblinking as he stared at the man across the table. When he spoke this time, the tone of his voice was like a low growl, demanding an answer to his question. ‘Have y’bin turned?’

ABOUT THIS BOOK: At approximately 09.00hrs on the 15th June 1996, an unassuming white lorry was parked on Corporation Street in the city centre of Manchester, England; it contained over 3000 pounds of high explosive.
At 11.15hrs the same day, Manchester witnessed the detonation of the largest device on the British mainland since the second World War … The Irish Republican Army claimed responsibility for the attack.

Based around actual events, LETTERBOX tells the story of Liam Connor, an ordinary boy brought up in Manchester by a seemingly ordinary family. He goes to the local school, loves football and has a best friend called Sean … an ordinary life!
Unbeknown to Liam, his father, Michael Connor, harbors a dark historic secret, following a life a lot less ordinary … as a furtive, yet high ranking soldier within the IRA.

As a result of extraordinary circumstances, Liam’s innocent and carefree world is shattered when he is exposed to the truth about his family’s heritage and then learns about the tragic death of his father at the hands of the SAS.

Consumed with both hate and the need to seek retribution, Liam is taken to Ireland where he is intensively trained to become a highly skilled and efficient soldier within the Irish Republican Army … He is 16 years old!
Some years later, following the drug-induced death of his beloved sister, Liam is given the opportunity to exact his revenge on those he believed should truly be blamed for the tragedies in his life … The British Government!
Thus, on the 15th June 1996, it was Liam’s responsibility to drive the bomb laden lorry into the unsuspecting city of Manchester and let the voice of the IRA be clearly heard … And listened to!!

MY THOUGHTS: If you had told me that I was going to love a book about the 1996 Manchester bombing, I would have laughed at you. ‘Not my thing,’ I would have stated confidently. It was something I would have passed to my husband, probably rolling my eyes while doing so.

When Caroline Vincent (Bits About Books) asked me to read Letterbox by P.A.Davies she very cleverly didn’t tell me what it was about, just that she thought that I might enjoy it. She was right.

I can’t think of anyone who doesn’t have preconceived ideas about the IRA. I can’t imagine having to live through that era on either side. I can remember being horrified at the violence and the waste of life by both sides. Wonderered why they couldn’t just sit around the table and sort it. Which, eventually, they did. While I don’t condone the actions of either side, I now have a deeper understanding.

Author P. A. Davies does a great job of providing a balanced view of the bombing in this powerfully written, enthralling piece of ‘historical faction’. I, quite unexpectedly, found myself drawn into the Connor family, enjoying watching Liam grow up, experiencing his anger when he finds out the truth about his father, his devastation at his father’s death, and his subsequent indoctrination into the IRA. I loved his sense of loyalty, his need to protect his best friend. I wept for Margaret, for the treatment she received both from her family and the SAS, and then her senseless death at the hands of an enemy far more lethal and widespread than the IRA and the British Army combined
Letterbox was an unexpected pleasure. One I won’t hesitate to recommend.



This is P.A. Davies at his favourite writing space: Costa Coffee Café

P.A. Davies grew up in Manchester, UK, a place he has lived in and around all his life – he loves Manchester and is proud to be part of the multi-cultural, modern city that houses two Premiership football teams and is the birthplace of many a famous band, such as Oasis, the Stone Roses, Take That and Simply Red.

For most of his life, he dabbled with writing various pieces, from poems to short fictional stories just for fun. However, following advice from a good friend he decided to have a go at writing a novel. Thus, his first novel ‘Letterbox’ was conceived, a fictional take on the infamous IRA bombing of Manchester in 1996. It took him over a year to complete but while doing so, he found it to be one of the most satisfying and interesting paths he had ever followed. It comes as no surprise that the writing bug now became firmly embedded within him.

P.A. Davies’ second book was published in May 2013, ‘George: A Gentleman of the Road’, a true story about one of Manchester’s homeless. His third novel, ‘The Good in Mister Philips’, is an erotic novel (arguably set to rival Fifty Shades…!) and his fourth, ‘Nobody Heard Me Cry’ (Dec. 2015) is again a fact-based tale, this time of Manchester’s darker side. The thriller ‘Absolution’ (Oct. 2017) is his fifth novel. Currently, P.A. Davies is writing his sixth novel, titled ‘I, Muslim.’

To label P.A. Davies’ writings would be difficult because his works diverse from thrillers to touching novels to true-to-life tales embedded in a captivating story for the author is an imaginative and versatile storyteller.

Social Links

Author Website: www.padavies.co.uk
FB Author Page: www.facebook.com/padavies.ukauthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/padavies_
GoodReads: www.goodreads.com/author/show/6434810.P_A_Davies
Amazon Author Page: author.to/PADavies
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+PADaviesUKAuthor
Instagram: www.instagram.com/padavies

Books by P.A. Davies

Absolution (2017) getbook.at/Absolution-PADavies
Nobody Heard Me Cry (2016) getbook.at/NobodyHeardMeCry
The Good in Mister Philips (2014) getbook.at/TheGoodinMisterPhilips
George: A Gentleman of the Road (2013) getbook.at/GeorgeAGentlemanoftheRoad
Letterbox (2011) getbook.at/Letterbox

Thank you to author P. A. Davies and Bits About Books Caroline Vincent for providing a digital copy of Letterbox for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.






























































































Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea

Don't Believe It by Charlie Donlea
Don’t Believe It 

Charlie Donlea (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: The blood was a problem. I knew it as soon as I felt it spit across my face. It streamed from his hairline and ran along his jaw until it dribbled onto the granite bluff, first in sporadic red blots like the leading raindrops of a coming storm, and then in a continuous stream, as though a spigot had been plugged into the spot on his head where I had struck him and had opened wide. It was an error in judgment and strategy, which was a shame because up to now I had been perfect.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: From acclaimed author Charlie Donlea comes a twisting, impossible-to-put-down novel of suspense in which a filmmaker helps clear a woman convicted of murder—only to find she may be a pawn in a sinister game.

The Girl of Sugar Beach is the most watched documentary in television history—a riveting, true-life mystery that unfolds over twelve weeks and centers on a fascinating question: Did Grace Sebold murder her boyfriend, Julian, while on a Spring Break vacation, or is she a victim of circumstance and poor police work? Grace has spent the last ten years in a St. Lucian prison, and reaches out to filmmaker Sidney Ryan in a last, desperate attempt to prove her innocence.

As Sidney begins researching, she uncovers startling evidence, additional suspects, and timeline issues that were all overlooked during the original investigation. Before the series even finishes filming, public outcry leads officials to reopen the case. But as the show surges towards its final episodes, Sidney receives a letter saying that she got it badly, terribly wrong.

Sidney has just convinced the world that Grace is innocent. Now she wonders if she has helped to free a ruthless killer. Delving into Grace’s past, she peels away layer after layer of deception. But as Sidney edges closer to the real heart of the story, she must decide if finding the truth is worth risking her newfound fame, her career . . . even her life.

MY THOUGHTS: WOW! Mr Donlea. Just WOW! You blew my socks off and rattled my bones. I thought I knew what was coming, but I was wrong. . . miles off base.

Now it has to be said that I am no great fan of true crime shows or reality television. I am, however, a great fan of Charlie Donlea and while I was a little reluctant about the subject matter, my love of this author’s writing won out, and I am so very glad. I would have hated to have missed out on this read.

I don’t want to give anything away here, but the closest I can come to describing Don’t Believe It, is that it’s like a game of cat’s cradle. . . did you ever play that? It looks complicated, needs more than one player and has bits of string twisted around one another to form an intricate pattern that, with one final twist, disappears.

It was great to see Dr Livia Cutty back in this novel, and I sincerely hope we meet Gus Morelli again.

Thank you to Kensington Books via Netgalley for providing a digital ARC of Don’t Believe It by Charlie Donlea for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2330970699

Friday Favorite – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass 

John Tenniel (Illustrator)


Martin Gardner (Introduction)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”

So she was considering in her own mind, (as she could, because the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a white rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Weary of her storybook, one “without pictures or conversations,” the young and imaginative Alice follows a hasty hare underground–to come face-to-face with some of the strangest adventures and most fantastic characters in all of literature.

The Ugly Duchess, the Mad Hatter, the weeping Mock Turtle, the diabolical Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat–each more eccentric than the last–could only have come from that master of sublime nonsense, Lewis Carroll.

In penning this brilliant burlesque of children’s literature, Carroll has written a farcical satire of rigid Victorian society, an arresting parody of the fears, anxieties, and complexities of growing up.

Carroll was one of the few adult writers to successfully enter the children’s world of make-believe: where the impossible becomes possible, the unreal–real, and where the height of adventure is limited only by the depths of imagination.

MY THOUGHTS: How can anyone not love Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

I read a biography of Lewis Carroll (or Charles Lutwidge Dodgson as he was born) last year which made me want to revisit Alice.

I am glad I did. It was an extremely enjoyable experience and brought back many childhood memories of reading under the bedclothes by torchlight, making daisy chains with my grandmother, the same grandmother’s jam tarts, her wonderful rose gardens. . . Altogether, a wonderful trip down memory lane.

Dying Truth by Angela Marsons

Dying Truth by Angela Marsons
Dying Truth (D.I. Kim Stone, #8) 

Angela Marsons (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: I lied.

I said yes.

How could I tell them how I really felt? How could I tell them that a piece of me dies every time I come home? How could I try and penetrate the perfect bubble around them? How could I reveal what I do to stay calm? How can I share the darkness that shadows every thought I have; the rage that heats my blood?

How could I tell them that I’m the broken child?

ABOUT THIS BOOK: How far would you go to protect your darkest secrets?

When teenager Sadie Winter jumps from the roof of her school, her death is ruled as suicide – a final devastating act from a troubled girl. But then the broken body of a young boy is discovered at the same school and it’s clear to Detective Kim Stone that these deaths are not tragic accidents.

As Kim and her team begin to unravel a dark web of secrets, one of the teachers could hold the key to the truth. Yet just as she is about to break her silence, she is found dead.

With more children’s lives at risk, Kim has to consider the unthinkable – whether a fellow pupil could be responsible for the murders. Investigating the psychology of children that kill brings the detective into contact with her former adversary, Dr Alex Thorne – the sociopath who has made it her life’s work to destroy Kim.

Desperate to catch the killer, Kim finds a link between the recent murders and an initiation prank that happened at the school decades earlier. But saving these innocent lives comes at a cost – and one of Kim’s own might pay the ultimate price.

MY THOUGHTS: Clear your diary! Angela Marsons has a new book in the D. I. Kim Stone series, and Dying Truth is a book that, once you start, you can’t put down. I took it to work. I read through morning tea, I read through lunch instead of taking advantage of the sunshine and going for a walk, I read through afternoon tea, and we had takeaways for dinner because I didn’t want to lose reading time by cooking! I finished Dying Truth before I went to sleep. This is the best of the series yet!

Marsons is an incredible writer. In Dying Truth she tackles the subjects of bullying and self-harm, all neatly tucked into the investigation of the apparent suicide of a young girl at an elite school. Heathcrest is a school that is a bastion of secrecy, lies, private elite clubs, privilege, wealth, and illegal abortions, and has been for generations. Here alliances are formed and relationships brokered that will last for lifetimes.

But secrets and lies have consequences, and someone has to pay the price. ..

D. I. Kim Stone has grown a lot in character in the previous seven books. She continues to do so in Dying Truth. But she still shuts herself off, to a certain degree, assuming guilt for every victim she can’t save, burying herself in responsibility, and the determination to right every wrong. ‘For as long as she could remember, her mind had been a series of boxes. Every one contained something that had the power to hurt her, to reach the depths of her soul and break her apart.’ She relaxes by rebuilding old motorbikes and walking her dog Barney.

And it is great to also see the growth of the supporting cast, Dawson and Stacey in particular. They have become characters in their own right.

I love Marsons turns of phrase. ..’He reminded her of an overfilled laundry basket at home, so full of items that it was misshapen, bulging. It was like he’d been stuffed to overflowing with good looks, a lean athletic body, excessive charm and charisma bursting out of his sixteen year old body. Once he emptied the basket and learned moderation, he’d be a dangerous individual.’

Where to next Angela Marsons? I long ago ran out of rating stars for your books – five stars just aren’t enough.

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Dying Breath by Angela Marsons for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2375973864

Friday Favorite – Lost Girls by Angela Marsons

Looking for something to read over the weekend ?

Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?

Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

I have been in on Angela Marsons’ D. I. Kim Stone series right from the start. It is an amazing series. You can never second guess Marsons. The whole series is outstanding, but Lost Girls remains my absolute favorite.

Lost Girls by Angela Marsons
Lost Girls (D.I. Kim Stone, #3) 

Angela Marsons (Goodreads Author)


Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice* Jones‘s review

Oct 29, 2015  ·  edit
it was amazing

bookshelves: netgalley-arc5-star

EXCERPT: Emily Billingham tried to scream through the hand that covered her mouth.

The fingers were thin but strong againsther lower jaw. She forced out a sound that bounced back off his flesh and threw back her head to try and prise herself free. The back of her skull met with something hard, a rib.

‘Knock it off, you stupid little bitch,’ he said, dragging her backwards.

The poundingin her ears almost drowned out his words. She could feel her own heart beating hard against her chest.

The fabric across her eyes blocked out her surroundings but she felt the gravel underfoot.

Every step took her further from Suzie.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Two girls go missing. Only one will return.
The couple that offers the highest amount will see their daughter again. The losing couple will not. Make no mistake. One child will die.

When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.

And when a second text message pits the two families against each other for the life of their children, the clock starts ticking for D.I. Kim Stone and the squad.

Seemingly outwitted at every turn, as they uncover a trail of bodies, Stone realises that these ruthless killers might be the most deadly she has ever faced. And that their chances of bringing the girls home alive, are getting smaller by the hour…

Untangling a dark web of secrets from the families’ past might hold the key to solving this case. But can Kim stay alive long enough to do so? Or will someone’s child pay the ultimate price?

MY THOUGHTS: Angela Marsons just keeps writing books that enthral and appal, but that you just can’t put down.

She comes up with original plots that she writes with a frightening grip on reality. Reading Lost Girls, I was on the edge of my seat and snarling at anyone who tried to interrupt me.

“When nine-year-old best friends Charlie and Amy disappear, two families are plunged into a living nightmare. A text message confirms the unthinkable; that the girls are the victims of a terrifying kidnapping.”

But now comes the twist: the two families – best friends – are plunged into a bidding war against each other, for the kidnapper will only release one child, that of the family who pays him the most money.

Three quarters of the way through, I thought I knew where this was going. I was wrong, so very, very wrong! Well Done Angela Marsons – another 5* read! Next please!

This is the third book in her DI Kim Stone series, and I recommend that, if you have not read the earlier two, that you start with the first, Silent Scream.

Thank you to Bookouture via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of Lost Girls by Angela Marsons for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1428521601


The Retreat by Mark Edwards

The Retreat by Mark  Edwards
The Retreat 

Mark Edwards (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: It was a stone house, painted white, with a steep tiled roof. It was bigger and more imposing than I’d expected. The kind of place that looked like it would always be cold inside, no matter how many fires you lit. Behind the house, a steep bank half protected it from the elements. To either side, woodland stretched as far as I could see.

Something flapped in the branches above my head, startling me and almost making me lose my balance. But I stole another look at the house before I climbed down, and smiled. It was the perfect place to write a scary book.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: A missing child. A desperate mother. And a house full of secrets.

Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive.

Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events.

When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect…

What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat?

From the bestselling author of Follow You Home and The Magpies comes his most terrifying novel yet.

MY THOUGHTS: I read The Retreat overnight, in one sitting, because I simply could not bear to put it down. Yes, it’s that good. I defy anyone to read this without pulling the curtains a little tighter, without starting at every little noise. And if you have a child, I guarantee you’ll be keeping her a little closer to home, that’s if you let her out of your sight at all.

Mark Edwards has hit the ball right out of the park with his latest offering, The Retreat. I have always enjoyed his books, rated them highly, but The Retreat is something special. Nail-bitingly special. Breathtakingly special. OMG! I never saw THAT coming special.

So, I might be a bit of a sucker for a book that features a creepy old house, but that on its own is no guarantee of success with me. Edwards has this knack of being able to take a pretty ordinary situation and infuse it with enough suspense, enough emotion, enough atmosphere to hook me and keep me there right to the end.

Atmospheric. Sinister. Chilling. These are all words that can be applied to The Retreat. And let’s not forget unpredictable. Every time I came up with a theory for what happened, was happening, or what was about to happen, Edwards shot me down in flames.

Am I recommending The Retreat? Definitely. With the full five blindingly bright stars of praise.

Thank you to Thomas and Mercer via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Retreat by Mark Edwards for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2299382903

Friday Favorite – The Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan

Looking for something to read over the weekend? Nothing on your book radar that is screaming ‘read me’?

Take a look at my Friday Favorite. It may be new. It may be old. It may be written by a famous author, or by someone you have never heard of. But wherever in the spectrum it falls, it will be a book that is special to me, one that has captured both my imagination and my heart.

I have only just finished The Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan. It was published at the beginning of the month, and is simply an extraordinary read. I will never delete this from my Kindle. In fact, I shall buy a hard copy and put it on my ‘treasured reads’ shelf. I love it that much.

The Dead House by Billy O'Callaghan
The Dead House 

Billy O’Callaghan (Goodreads Author)

Reviewed by


EXCERPT: Our foolishness opened a door back then, exposing something of insatiable appetite. Something monstrous.

After nine years, I’d almost forgotten, assuming, I suppose, that, having paid our price, we’d left it all behind us. But escape is never total, and we’d been wrong, Alison and I, to stop running. And now, again, it seems they’ve found us.

(She) said she heard my name being called, and I believe her, but I think she misunderstood. I think what she heard was actually a warning to me, not a call. And that frightens me more than anything else. Because something is here, and running now is not an option. I’ve already lost a lot, but there’s always more to lose.

That’s why I’m afraid.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: This best-selling debut by an award-winning writer is both an eerie contemporary ghost story and a dread-inducing psychological thriller. Maggie is a successful young artist who has had bad luck with men. Her last put her in the hospital and, after she’s healed physically, left her needing to get out of London to heal mentally and find a place of quiet that will restore her creative spirit. On the rugged west coast of Ireland, perched on a wild cliff side, she spies the shell of a cottage that dates back to Great Famine and decides to buy it. When work on the house is done, she invites her dealer to come for the weekend to celebrate along with a couple of women friends, one of whom will become his wife. On the boozy last night, the other friend pulls out an Ouija board. What sinister thing they summon, once invited, will never go.

Ireland is a country haunted by its past. In Billy O’Callaghan’s hands, its terrible beauty becomes a force of inescapable horror that reaches far back in time, before the Famine, before Christianity, to a pagan place where nature and superstition are bound in an endless knot.

MY THOUGHTS: ‘The past will not remain the past’. It is always a part of you, and wherever you go, it goes with you. It is always there in the shadowy corners of your mind, lurking, waiting for a moment of weakness, to take advantage and burst upon your present life, bringing with it all the things you would rather forget.

Billy O’Callaghan’s writing is magical, lyrical, gentle with menace. He is an artist who paints pictures with his words, a voice whispering in my ear as I read. He held me spellbound with The Dead House. This passage from the book describes the effect his writing has on me, beautifully – ‘It’s just here, in my head. Pictures, words. I can see it. It’s difficult to explain. I feel as if it’s being whispered to me. I don’t hear a voice, not exactly, but I feel it.’

The Dead House is incredibly atmospheric. It’s not a scary book, not horror. But it has something, something almost indefinable, a gentle lurking menace. It is the sort of book that is unsettling, more than anything. The sort of book that will have you catching glimpses of movement from the corner of your eye, but then, when you turn, there is nothing there. Nothing that you can see. . .

I was sad to finish this, bereft even. This is O’Callaghan’s only novel to date. He has, however, published three collections of short stories which are about to grace my shelves.

Thank you to Skyhorse Publishing, Arcade Publishing via Netgalley for providing a digital copy of The Dead House by Billy O’Callaghan for review. All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions.

Please refer to my Goodreads.com profile page or the ‘about’ page on sandysbookaday.wordpress.com for an explanation of my rating system.

This review and others are also published on my Goodreads.com page https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/2385093074